Students collaborate, create, compete as part of Engineers Week
By Deidre Moon, AEDC/PA
/ Published March 16, 2020
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Students from all over middle Tennessee participated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities during National Engineers Week.
Held Feb. 16-22, many Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers and other volunteers assisted with the local events that took place throughout the week and the entire month, which included several STEM competitions and learning opportunities.
These activities kicked off with middle school students participating in a MathCounts® competition Feb. 1 at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
The Student Design Competition was Feb. 18 at the Hands-On Science Center in Tullahoma. For this competition, 10th to 12th grade students from Cascade, Grundy County, Huntland, Lincoln County, Shelbyville Central and Tullahoma high schools were tasked with an impromptu design challenge and then judged on their creativity and skills to solve the assigned problem.
“Mars: Terra Firma” was the name given to this year’s Student Design Competition. At the start of the competition, the students were asked to imagine that they were sitting in American-Martian Observatory Station Bravo and tasked with working on the Air Harvest Enterprise for the Advanced Development of Systems. As part of the project, each two-person team had to create a fan, or in this case, a Martian Energy Output Wind turbine Prototype. Provided with the electronics and materials needed, the students attempted to design the hub and blade configuration that would produce the highest peak and average voltage levels.
Winning first place in the Student Design Competition was Andrew Barrett and Luke Sweeney, from Grundy County High School. Second place winners were Spencer Yoder and Kellee Northcutt, from Tullahoma High School, and third place winners were Eleni Pisinos and Britney Lin, also from Tullahoma High School.
Engineer for a Day was Feb. 19 at Arnold Air Force Base. To start the day off, students had an opportunity to pose questions to AEDC engineers. They also received a tour and learned about the different test facilities on base, before spending one-on-one time with mentors in a career field of their interest. Many of the students expressed that they plan to attend college to pursue careers in engineering and enjoyed the chance to see the different career possibilities firsthand.
Wrapping up the week was the Engineers Week Banquet Feb. 20 at the UTSI Dining Hall, featuring guest speaker Laura Bannon, Channel 4 WSMV meteorologist.